Watching plants grow under my care is soothing. Believe it or not, weeding my garden is therapy for the soul. Especially rewarding is starting from seed a fragile and fickle plant that is difficult to grow and succeeding despite the odds.
I often think of gardening as a metaphor for raising children. You start with nothing but a small seed and if, after all the proper care and attention, you get a ripe, delicious tomato you know you have done not too poorly. Many times, the little seedlings look like they will not make it: they thirst and wilt; a mildew spreads and they turn ugly and sickly; pests and parasites eat at the best parts, leaving them bare and vulnerable. But I try not to give up at the first sign of these maladies. Instead, I do what I can to strengthen them, clean and prune them, rid them of unwanted creatures. Then I give them time.
And more often than not, the seedlings turn into strong, bountiful plants from which I can finally reap the rewards.
I guess the only differences between my little plants and children are that plants have short growing seasons with predictable problems and they don’t ever talk back. Well, I hope I can extend that same patience for my little ones because I am sure the rewards are a million times better.